Citibank SMRT Card – MoneySmart Review 2022

Citibank SMRT card Review

You might think that SMRT is the source of all your problems, but that doesn’t mean you should refuse to sign up for the Citibank SMRT Card out of spite. Its name might make it sound like a glorified EZ-Link card, but it’s a decent choice for cashback credit cards available right now on the market.

In fact, its benefits go beyond just MRT-related rebates. It’s one of the few cashback credit cards in Singapore with no minimum spend. Here’s what the Citi SMRT Card has to offer.

Citibank SMRT Card terms & conditions

Citibank SMRT Card
Annual fee & waiver $192.60 (waived for the first two years)
Supplementary annual fee $96.30 (waived for the first two years)
Interest free period 25 days
Annual interest rate 26.90%
Late payment fee $100
Minimum monthly repayment 1% or $50, whichever is higher
Foreign currency transaction fee 3.25%
Cash advance transaction fee 6% or $15, whichever is higher
Overlimit fee $40
Minimum income $30,000 (Singaporean) / $42,000 (non-Singaporean)
Card association Visa
Wireless payment Visa Contactless, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay

The Citi SMRT Card offers $120 cash back as you spend $1,200 in the first 2 months. This welcome offer is valid till 30 November 2021.

Benefits of the Citi SMRT Card

Do you buy groceries at NTUC and go on shopping sprees on ezbuy or Lazada?

If you’ve answered yes to any of the above, congratulations, you’re just like 99.9999% of Singaporeans. The Citibank SMRT Card offers rebates if you hit the min. spend of $500 at the places below. Savings are awarded in SMRT$, which can be redeemed for cash rebate or vouchers.

Here’s a list of cashback benefits you can get with the Citi SMRT Card:

Spending category Cash rebate (spend <$500) Cash rebate (min. spend $500)
Groceries  0.3% 5%
Qualifying online spend
(excludes mobile wallet top-ups)
0.3% 5%
EZ-Link auto top-up or SimplyGo 0.3% 5%
Taxis including private-hire rides (Grab, GoJek, etc) 0.3% 5%

To milk the 5% cash rebate, you’ll want to spend at least $500 with this card. Most of its eligible spend categories are geared towards transportation, which is a bit of a hard sell during lockdown. The main way you’ll be fulfilling that minimum $500 spend is through online shopping and groceries.

Finally, it’d be stupid if an “SMRT Card” didn’t give you decent rebates for taking the MRT, and EZ-Link is indeed one of the cash rebate categories on this card.

When you get the card, it will automatically have EZ-Reload enabled on it, but why would you use that feature when you already have SimplyGo?

Who should use the Citibank SMRT Card?

By now, you should have noticed that many credit cards try to market themselves to the ambitious, aspirational middle class, with the promise that using that piece of plastic will make you look richer and more sophisticated. Many of these cards are also pretty much useless if you’re not dining at fancy restaurants or jet-setting every other day.

That’s where the Citibank SMRT Card differentiates itself. This is a card for basic Singaporeans who are not interested in cultivating an atas lifestyle to impress their peers, and for young and budget-conscious families who appreciate an all-purpose cashback credit card.

The wide range of everyday merchants makes it possibly one of the most practical cash back credit cards out there for cost-conscious Singaporeans looking to cut their expenses further, no matter the age.

The main drawback is that it doesn’t really reward you for some of the more extravagant expenses in life. For instance, air tickets and hotel stays are conspicuously excluded from their cashback offer for online shopping, as are restaurant dining and entertainment.

Alas, the cashback isn’t unlimited. It’s credited in SMRT$ and there’s a cap of $600 a year (average $50/month). It’s quite convenient to convert your SMRT$ to cashback though – you can redeem SMRT$ via SMS.

Citibank logo
No Minimum Spend for Cashback
Cash Back on Eligible Spend
5%
Cash Back Cap per year
S$600
Min. Spend per month
S$500

Citibank SMRT Card promotions

ezbuy

  • If you’re new to ezbuy, get $10 off with a minimum spend of $20 in a single transaction [Promo code: CITINEW]
  • Valid till 31 Dec 2021

Lazada

  • If you’re new to Lazada, enjoy $8 off with minimum spend of $20
  • Valid till 31 Dec 2021

GrabFood, Deliveroo, Foodpanda & WhyQ

Alternatives to the Citibank SMRT Card

There are some other cards on the market geared towards lower spenders who’re just looking to get a bit of cashback on their everyday expenses, such as the following.

Maybank Family & Friends Card – New features include cash rebate up to 8% on all restaurant spends in Singapore and Malaysia, as well as data communication and online TV streaming. You also get up to 8% rebate on petrol and grocery shopping (including online grocery stores), selected shopping stores, contactless bus and train rides and taxi and all passenger transportation services (eg. Grab and Gojek). There’s a minimum spend of $800 a month though. Cash rebate is capped at $125/month, made complicated by capping it at $25 per eligible category.

Maybank logo
Online Promo
Cashback on Groceries, Dining &amp; Food Delivery and Transport globally
Up to 8%
Cashback on Data Communications, Online TV Streaming, Pets and Retail globally
Up to 8%
Cash Rebate Cap per month
S$125
Online Promo:
Receive a Garmin vivomove Style worth S$469 (Valid for the first 2,000 applicants only).  Subsequent Qualifying Applicants will be rewarded with S$100 cash credit to be credited to their activated Eligible Card accounts. Valid till 31st of Oct. TNCs Apply.
Valid until 31 Oct 2021

UOB Absolute Cashback Card – This card is possibly THE one to get because it has no minimum spend as well as a generous and “unconditional” 1.7% cashback. Its main downside is that it’s an Amex card, which means that it’s less widely accepted than VISA or MasterCard. That being said, if you do find a merchant that accepts Amex, you’ll probably get more milk out of this card.

UOB logo
Online Promo
Cash Back on Eligible Spend
1.7%
Min. Spend per month
$0
Spend Exclusions
No
Online Promo:
Get the latest smartphone with S$1,299 Singtel vouchers or S$300 cash credit when you apply for a UOB Absolute Cashback Card. TNCs Apply
Valid until 31 Oct 2021

Citibank Cash Back+ MasterCard – Citi has possibly cannibalised its own Citi SMRT card by coming up with the Citi Cash Back+ MasterCard. It has no minimum spend, 1.6% unlimited cashback across all category spend — this includes online shopping, groceries, transport and dining. The price you pay for it being a MasterCard is 0.1% cashback, because while the UOB Absolute Cashback card offers 1.7% cashback, it’s also Amex, which means it’s not as widely accepted.

Citibank logo
MoneySmart Exclusive
No Expiry on Cash Back Earned
Cash Back on Eligible Spend
1.6%
Min. Spend per month
S$0
Cash Back Cap
Unlimited
MoneySmart Exclusive:

GET YOUR GIFT FASTER THAN EVER:
Apply and spend $500 to get a free Apple iPad 64GB (worth $499) OR Sony WF-1000XM4 Earbuds (worth $379) OR $350 Cash via PayNow. T&Cs Apply.

Valid until 31 Oct 2021

HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card – Get 5% cash rebate on groceries and dining (minimum $600 spend per month for all 3 months in a calendar quarter). Also, get up to 20.2% on petrol at Caltex, and 14% instant petrol discount and up to 5% cash rebates at Shell.

HSBC logo
Online Promo
Cashback for Family Spending
Cash Back on Dining, Groceries, Petrol
5%
Cash Rebate Cap per quarter
S$250
Min. spend monthly in a calendar quarter
S$600
Online Promo:
Get up to $200 cashback for new HSBC cardmembers. Existing HSBC cardmembers receive $60 cashback. T&Cs apply.
Valid until 31 Oct 2021

Do you have the Citibank SMRT Card? Share your reviews in the comments!